Chou sensei: There is only a start of Kendo journey but no end of it.

Tuesday 17 January 2006

To share with those who could not come tonight or need to leave earlier, what Sensei Chou's lesson after the training were:

1. Kendo starts from Rei (manner) and finishes with Rei. If there is no Rei in your Kendo, no matter how strong your Kendo technique is, it still means nothing.

2. In terms of physical techniques, footwork should take 70% of importance while hand/arm only take another 30%. So, paying enough attention to footwork is essential to improve our Kendo.

Particularly, after strike, we should follow up our left foot quicker.

3. When you feel "proud" about your Kendo, then it is the time your Kendo starts to decline. Keep humble and keep studying and training in Kendo is very important.

-- Sam's note here: what sensei does not want us to have is "over-proud" or to think our Kendo is "good enough" and then stop learning. Please don't get it confused with "no confidence".

4. Sensei appreciates "the training we gave him" tonight. He thinks that we were all doing well tonight.

-- Sam's note again: Reflecting what he just said, I think that he is the role model of a humble leaner, which we all should learn from him.

5. Sensei also said that we don't need to worry about "being hit" during keiko but we need to focus and stick on kihon (basics). People might be able hit you at the beginning. However, after a while, people won't be so easy to hit you any more. That means you have improved in the right Kendo ways, rather than developing some other bad or wrong movements to prevent "being hit".

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My main personal reflection for the keiko with sensei is that we all need to keep our training regularly. I remember Kai once quoted his sensei's word that if we do not hold shinai for one day, our Kendo level drops two days back. I am amazed that sensei is still doing 7 days training among 3 dojos in Taiwan. He must feel boring here.

I think it is impossible for us to open dojo everyday here now (it should be our long term goal!). And sometimes we are busy with work or study. However, it would be still very helpful for us to remember to pick up shinai and do some suburi at home.

I know I have said for many times that Kendo is a life-long activity but I am too young to demonstrate this. I believe that we were all inspired and encouraged by him. To share a personal "funny" feeling about myself, probably because I have been surrounding by many young people like you for a while. Sometimes I feel I am a little bit older than before. Therefore, I felt very good and very refreshing when I did keiko with Chou sensei. From now on, I will NEVER feel I am an old person!
I sincerely wish all of us that we will continue our Kendo training until we are at least 85 years old. That means beside of Kendo techniques, we all need to take good care of our bodies!

Kind regards, Sam

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Forwarded from website archive 2006